Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke by phone today with rehabbing righthander Brett Myers, who yesterday struck out three and allowed two hits in his first minor league start since hip surgery in early June.
"He felt fine," Amaro said.
That is good news for the Phillies, who are increasingly hopeful that Myers will be ready to contribute to the team as a reliever sometime in early September. The organization is in the process of mapping out a schedule of appearances for Myers, Amaro said, but each one will be subject to postponement based on how Myers' body responds. The current plan is to build enough strength in his lower body and arm to work three innings. How many appearances will it take before he is ready for major league action? Amaro estimated between four and five.
Myers' velocity averaged between 90-92 miles per hour, which is noticably better than it was during his month-and-a-half of action this season. According to FanGraphs.com, a web site that catalogs pitch data, Myers fastball velocity averaged 92.6 miles per hour in 2007 when he was a reliever. Last season, it averaged 90.0 MPH. This season, his averaged dipped to 89.3. The team believes the decline was due to the hip problem that Myers has battled throughout the last couple of years.